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“Our favorite spot!”

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Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden
Ranked #1 of 17 Key Largo B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Our favorite spot!”
Reviewed 9 July 2013 via mobile

This was our 2nd time staying here. We have no complaints. They are always accommodating, prompt, polite and courteous.

Everything is very clean, the grounds are well kept and maintained, the view is beautiful and there is NO KIDS!

The view of the sunsets our perfect and we snorkel right out back in the bay.

It is a little pricey but you get what you pay for. We have stayed out other places in the Keys that were horrible. The lesson we learned is its better to pay more and be happy than save a few dollars and have a miserable vacation.

We enjoyed our stay. We will be back and bottom line is, we would recommend it to our family and friends.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bwoell14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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458 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
Date | Rating
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English first
Elkridge, Maryland
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013

I have been dying to write this review since I was staying at the Kona Kai! That's how amazing it is!

We were in Key Largo June 25th-July 2nd on our annual vacation and for my boyfriend's technical dive certification trip. We were originally supposed to spend the week in another well known hotel but our stay at the other hotel quickly became a nightmare. While out for lunch our first full day, we drove by and saw the Kona Kai sign. I checked the website, called the number and had a friendly greeting from Tracey. I told her about our nightmare and she quickly informed me they had one suite remaining, the Lychee suite. We quickly checked out of the other hotel and drove back to the Kona Kai!

The beautiful brick driveway lined with tropical plants was enough to let me know that we had reached perfection. Tracey greeted us in the office/gallery and was so friendly and welcoming. She made us quickly feel at ease which took away all the tension we were carrying from the stress of the previous location. She showed us the amazing grounds with even more gorgeous tropical plants, beautiful pool/hot tub area and quiet, serene beach as well as the lockers where my boyfriend could stash his dive gear and we could pick up equipment for kayaking.

When we got to the Lychee suite, it was hard to contain the excitement. The suite was the perfect size for the two of us with a cozy sitting area with a TV, CD player, books to borrow and adorable knick-knacks on the shelves that made it feel like a home. The fully-stocked kitchen area had an electric stove/oven, microwave, full refrigerator and coffee pot. Perfect for the early morning breakfasts needed before a day of diving (or in my case, lounging in the sun!). The very comfortable queen bed was in the next room with a gorgeously hand-painted cabinet. The bathroom was fully stocked with everything we could have possibly needed. Spa brand soaps and even a little container of cotton balls and q-tips. There was even a private patio off the back of the suite complete with BBQ!

Spending the days relaxing on the grounds was such a pleasure. The bottles of water in the fridge and chilled fresh fruit by the pool was much needed in the hot Florida sun. They even grow their own fruit on the grounds and will put it in the fridge with a note on what it was, it's country of origin and what it's similar to. They had a fresh batch of Peanut Butter Fruit (Yes it tastes like peanut butter!) and Pummelo that were so delicious! The pool was the most refreshing temperature and the hammocks and lounge chairs on the beach were great places to relax and get lost in a good book. Also an amazing place to watch the beautiful sunsets

If you're looking for peace, tranquility, beauty, and the friendliest staff you will ever meet, this is the place for you. The Kona Kai is perfection. We can't wait to return!

Room Tip: The Lychee suite is worth every penny!
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank capshcky11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Indiana
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 25 June 2013

We stayed in the Breadfruit Suite the week of June 16, 2013. We wanted a low key, quiet and relaxing vacation away from it all, and we definitely got it.

SUITE: The suite was the most closely situated to the bay. A wall of windows looked out onto the bay. The patio was oddly placed on the side of the building that did not face the bay; it would have been nice to have a sitting area directly facing the waterfront rather than the beach/pool area. As a result, while sitting on the patio (which we did a LOT), we were treated to a steady stream of passers by on their way to the dock, the pool, or the beach area. Furthermore, "fully equipped kitchen" means a set of dishes, a set of glasses/mugs/wine glasses, a set of silverware, some knives, some measuring spoons (tablespoons and teaspoons), small set of pots, and a broiler pan. We purchased (and donated to the cause) a spatula and wooden spoon, and we turned the broiler pan into a baking sheet with aluminum foil. There was a microwave and a coffee maker. Sufficient, but not "fully equipped." However, based on the level of service we received, I have no doubt that had we asked, we would have been supplied with whatever we needed and not chastised for moving some beach chairs over to the bay side of the suite building. The suite was tended to daily (except for the day that we were in there napping and asked them to skip us for the day) despite the fact that the regular policy is that they only provide cleaning every three days for our privacy, and I believe that was because I expressed a desire to ensure we had coffee and towels renewed every day. All I meant was to have those items brought to us, but the very attentive staff also made the bed, did the dishes, and otherwise tidied up. Finally, although you walk through the gates and feel like you're in another world, remember that there are resorts immediately on both sides. The Breadfruit Suite (and some others) is right on the edge of the property, and we were treated, on our very last night, to a very loud dance party next door. We had to get up very early the next morning to catch our flight, so getting enough sleep was impossible. Although not an "emergency," we did finally call the emergency number and learned from Tracy (who was very kind about the interruption to her evening) that the noise ordinance started at 10:45 pm. We had to suffer through it but did notice after our call that the music seemed to have been turned down a notice (at least we could no longer clearly make out the lyrics), and it did stop at 10:30 pm.

So only two complaints, neither of which warrant less than an excellent rating (and here's why): (1) kitchen not truly "fully equipped" (because I bet they would have provided us with anything we wanted had we asked, which we didn't); and (2) potential for annoying parties on either side of the property since Kona Kai FEELS, but IS NOT, isolated (because that's not really their fault).

SERVICE: As everyone has already noted, the service is top notch at Kona Kai. They make it very plain that we should not hesitate to ask for anything, and they readily provide very helpful advice on things to do (and avoid) while you're there.

GROUNDS: Stunning. Peaceful. Meticulously kept. Rick, the full-time ethno-botanist, is a wealth of information, and his tour of the grounds is fascinating. Most every plant has a descriptive marker, and his website www.kkbg.org is optimized for mobile users so you can find the number of the plant and get all kinds of information on your own. I believe he mentioned that Kona Kai is the only hotel/resort with a full time botanist on staff. Very cool. Take the tour. We appreciated having many opportunities for shaded sitting, since both of us are sensitive to sun exposure. We adore being outdoors, but we prefer sitting in shade, and while there are times of day you just have to play hide 'n seek with the sun, you can pretty much find shade somewhere at Kona Kai all day long.

AMENITIES: There is a tennis court/shuffle board which we did not pay much attention to. The pool is small but does the job, and the hot tub was fine. In the pool area, there is bottled water and fruit in a refrigerator. The pool is clean and towels are provided. A two-person kayak, two one-person kayaks, and a paddleboat are also available for use. In the room, there is coffee, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion provided. There is a hairdryer and plain white "off site" towels as well.

PRICE: Yes, it's expensive. But we felt it a fair cost for what is provided. If we return to Key Largo, Kona Kai will be our destination.

OVERALL: This was a fantastic experience. Kona Kai is beautiful: perfectly kept and meticulously tended. We could not have asked for a better, more relaxing trip. Thank you to Tracy, Denise, Rick, Maria, and the rest of the staff for making us feel warmly welcomed and always special.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amy_Dudas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2013

We booked a last minute trip to Key Largo in June and were able to reserve one of the regular (non-suite) guestrooms, the Guava room. I was nervous based on pictures online that it would be small and cramped, but it was just the opposite. It had a queen sized bed, a couch, coffee table, armoire, mini-fridge, and plenty of room to walk around. As you can surmise from the previous reviews, the resort grounds are gorgeous, so I won't dwell on that. What really impressed us was the level of service we received. Some small examples include the pre-stamped postcard waiting for us in our guestroom, complimentary spa toiletries in the bathroom, complementary fresh fruit (picked on the premisis) and bottled water all day long, and a detailed list of recommended local restaurants including directions, contact information, notes on the view. etc.

We also loved the size of the resort - it was not too small or big - just perfect! We could always find a choice placed to relax by the pool, beach, or on the gorgeous pier while almost never running into other guests (except maybe at sunset).

We were very impressed with the resort and would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JustinAndBrianna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2013

Kona Kai came highly recommended, and with good reason. This place is small and quiet, but with the amenities one might expect at a larger property (but without the crowds, or to be honest -- the children). Great pool and jacuzzi on the waterfront. Kayaks, tennis, hammocks, grills. Staff will arrange paddle board delivery. Last night we watched dolphins running alongside boats as we watched the sunset from our private dock. This morning a dolphin swam alongside us as we kayaked. (Yes, really). I recommend our suite, the Lychee, it's off to the side enough to provide great privacy and has a private back patio with loungers and a table/chairs. The kitchenette is worth the extra. We had fresh mangoes and avocado for breakfast twice. The towels, bottled water, and fresh fruit available poolside was awesome. Almost no negatives, BUT if looking to be even more stellar: 1 have beach towels available after 6:00 p.m., include paper towels in the kitchen; improve wifi access. There! Everything else is "spot on!" We would definitely return to this quiet, romantic, oasis.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lkreid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2013

Kona Kai was one of the highlights of our trip. We booked for our first night for our adventure through the keys and ended up staying 3 more nights. From Denise who took incredible care to show us everything at Kona Kai as well as incredible spots to eat and play, to the comfy bed, super clean bungalow, gorgeous botanical gardens with friendly lizards and the resident land crab who came to say welcome and the incredible island feel, Kona Kai is a place we highly recommend. (We've already told all our friends and coworkers!!) The mornings are beautiful down on the dock with the cranes and herons catching breakfast and the pool time is so relaxing with the fresh fruit and water Kona Kai provides. If you stop in, tell them Stephanie and Oscar said hi and we are already planning when we will be back. Great job Kona Kai. Thank you for such a wonderful experience. And thank you Denise, for all you time and care. You sent us to some incredible places that created amazing memories.

Room Tip: Any of these rooms feel like you are at your own personal hideaway. You can't go wrong at Kona...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank StephanieSplash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Owner-KonaKai-Resort, Owner at Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden, responded to this review, 17 June 2013
Dear StephanieSplash: No one has ever put it this way, but perhaps this is a good way to look at us. Thanks for your review - see you again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 13 June 2013

And that is exactly what we got! Thank you Kona Kai -Tracey and Denise and Rick! From the moment we arrived to the day we left, we felt like family. Everyone was so helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make sure we were having a perfect time. We loved our room, the pool, the chairs, the hammocks, the kayaks, the paddleboat.....and....everything! Thank you Rick for the great garden tour - so interesting, so informative and so yummy. :-) We came for a little relaxation, and got exactly that. Thank you again - you blessed us!

Room Tip: We loved our room - the Guava Room. Very spacious and comfortable.
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Green Features: The resort had easily accessible recycling bins. They offer the option of not having your room cleaned and laundered everyday if you'd prefer it that way.
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joelene T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden

Property: Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden
Address: 97802 Overseas Hwy, MM 98, Key Largo, FL 33037-2229
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Florida > Florida Keys > Key Largo
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Key Largo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Owned and operated by the same family since 1991 and a "Fodor’s Choice" selection since 2009, Kona Kai is a magical hideaway, teeming with the natural beauty of old Key Largo and hand polished into one of the most exclusive resorts in the Florida Keys. With all new accommodations in 2013, Kona Kai is reserved for adults. Offering highly praised personalized concierge service, Kona Kai is regularly recommended by leading travel publications and websites. SInce the 2011 addition of "The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai," guests enjoy our gardens day and night; complimentary tours for all registered guests are offered by our staff ethnobotanist. Kona Kai is a classic Keys experience; the perfect alternative if you're seeking to avoid the crowds and formality of a big resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kona Kai Resort And Gallery
Kona Kai Resort & Gallery Hotel Key Largo
Kona Kai Resort, Gallery & Botanic Garden Key Largo, Florida

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